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The U.S. Government Will Be the Cause of the New Korean War


If war breaks out in Korea, which is increasingly likely, make no mistake about it: the cause will be the U.S. government, specifically the national-security state branch of the federal government, i.e., the Pentagon and the CIA.

There are three reasons I say this:

(1) the presence of U.S. troops in South Korea are the principal cause of the crisis in Korea;

(2) the U.S. government, especially President Trump and the Pentagon, are doing their best to provoke North Korea into initiating an attack on South Korea;

(3) the U.S. government might initiate a false-flag operation fraudulently making it look like North Korea started the war.

With respect to point (3), I am sure that there are some people who will read that and immediately be tempted to send me an email exclaiming, “Conspiracy theory, Jacob!” as they do when I allege that the U.S. national security establishment initiated a regime-change operation against the Kennedy administration in November 1963.

But here’s the thing: Operation Northwoods, a Pentagon proposal the Pentagon succeeded in keeping secret for some 30 years, is highly instructive, especially if it looks like North Korea has started the war.

Keep in mind that if war breaks out, rational and reasonable thinking will be in extremely short supply, especially if thousands of people, including U.S. troops in South Korea, are being immediately killed. Even more so if one or more nuclear bombs are exploded. So, it’s best we talk about Operation Northwoods now because many Americans aren’t going to want to hear about it with the outbreak of war.

During the Kennedy administration, the Pentagon and the CIA desperately wanted to start a war with Cuba. But they wanted Cuba to attack first so that they could say, “We’ve been attacked! We’re innocent! We have no choice but to engage in self-defense by bombing and invading Cuba and achieving regime change there.”

The problem, however, was that Cuba refused to take the bait. No matter how much the Pentagon and the CIA provoked Cuban officials, including by assassination, sabotage, and terrorism, the Cubans never attacked the United States.

So, the Pentagon came up with Operation Northwoods. It called for secret U.S. agents falsely and deceptively posing as Cuban communists to hijack American planes and commit terrorist attacks on American soil. The Pentagon knew that once the war started, people would probably not go looking to see if the hijackers and terrorists were really U.S. agents rather than Cuban communists. In the unlikely event that someone did do some questioning, they knew that they and the CIA’s assets in the mainstream press could easily dismiss them as conspiracy theorists. The president’s role in the plan would have been to lie to the American people and the world as he ordered the troops and bombers to bomb and invade Cuba. (To Kennedy’s everlasting credit, he rejected Operation Northwoods, much to the Pentagon’s anger and chagrin.)

Thus, if North Korea “starts” a war now, we mustn’t eliminate the possibility that the Pentagon will have employed a variation of Operation Northwoods by falsely making it look like North Korea has started the war and that the United States is simply defending itself (and South Korea).

Why would U.S. officials implement an Operation Northwoods against North Korea?

Two reasons:

One, because China has made it clear that it will not enter the conflict if North Korea has started the war but that it will enter the conflict if it is the United States that has started the war; and

Two, to convince the American people that they have not started yet another war of aggression.

The more fundamental point, however, is the presence of U.S. troops in South Korea. They have no business being there. They serve as a continuation of U.S. interventionism in the Korean War, which was nothing more than a civil war. The U.S. government intervened in that civil war by attacking North Korea. President Truman, who initiated the war, never secured a declaration of war from Congress, which the U.S. Constitution requires. That made the Korean War illegal under our form of government. The troops stationed in Korea today are simply the illegal successors to the Korean War.

The reason that North Korea is trying to acquire nuclear weapons is use them in a war of aggression against the United States or South Korea. The reason is that North Korea wants to deter the U.S. government from initiating a war of aggression against North Korea — i.e., a regime-change operation. Also, if war breaks out, North Korea, an impoverished Third World country facing the most powerful military empire in history, wants nuclear weapons to defend itself.

North Korea does not fear a South Korea regime-change operation and South Korea has no interest in effecting a regime-change operation. It is the U.S. government that is committed to regime change in North Korea. That’s what North Korean fear. If U.S. troops were to exit the country, be brought home, and discharged, the crisis in Korea would disintegrate. North Korea just wants to be left alone, but the Pentagon and the CIA, still held in the thralls of the Cold War, won’t leave it alone.

The other possibility is that North Korea will be provoked into starting a war. That’s the purpose of Trump’s tweets and the Pentagon’s military exercises and bomber fly-overs. U.S. officials figure that if they can just get North Korea to react with violence, they have achieved their goal — war but with it looking like the U.S. government is only acting in defense.

Bottom line: The U.S. government —along with its policy of foreign interventionism — is the root of the crisis in Korea. If and when war comes, the U.S. government will be the proximate cause.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.